German Car Export Surges: 25% Electric, $62B Revenue

In 2023, Germany experienced a significant surge in the export of electric vehicles (EVs), marking a milestone as EVs composed a quarter of the country’s total car exports for that year. The statistical office, Destatis, reported that Germany exported approximately 786,000 fully electric cars, amounting to nearly €36 billion ($61.8 billion) in value, a substantial 58% increase from the previous year. The main destinations for German EV exports were the Netherlands, the UK, and Belgium. On the flip side, imports of EVs into Germany also saw a notable uptick of 23%, with over a quarter originating from China.


Despite the impressive growth in electric vehicle exports, traditional combustion engine cars continued to dominate the German automotive industry, accounting for over two-thirds of all cars manufactured in the country in 2023. The export of conventional cars also saw a rise of 13%, with major markets including the US, the UK, and China. Notably, Germany witnessed a 60% increase in the production of EVs compared to the previous year. However, the new registrations of electric cars in Germany only amounted to around 524,200, significantly lower than the 2.3 million new registrations for combustion engine cars during the same period.

Why does it matter?

The automotive sector stands as Germany’s most lucrative manufacturing industry, with around 60 companies contributing to a record revenue of €430 billion in 2023. This substantial revenue surge was partially attributed to escalated prices within the industry. The automotive industry’s revenue represented nearly one-fifth of the total industrial revenue in the country, with exports constituting more than 75% of the sales. Notably, despite the industry’s overall success, electric car sales experienced a significant setback earlier in the year following a sudden subsidy reduction in late 2023.

How is it going to shape the future?

The increase in electric car exports underscores a notable shift towards sustainable mobility solutions in the global automotive market. Germany’s continued focus on EV production and exports indicates a strategic alignment with the growing demand for electric vehicles worldwide. As the industry navigates challenges such as subsidy cuts impacting sales, the momentum towards electrification remains strong, shaping the future landscape of the automotive sector both in Germany and beyond.